Bangalore-based online classifieds site Quikr India Pvt. Ltd has agreed to buy real estate brokerage firm HDFC Realty Ltd and HDFC Developers Ltd in all-stock transactions worth a total of Rs 357 crore ($56 million).
The deal will result in the target companies’ parent, mortgage lender HDFC Ltd, taking a stake in Quikr, the two companies said on Thursday. They didn’t disclose the size of the stake.
HDFC said in a stock-exchange filing that HDFC Developers was valued around Rs 102 crore and HDFC Realty was valued around Rs 255 crore in the transaction.
HDFC Developers operates online real estate platform HDFC RED. The classifieds site has around 7,000 project listings. It claims to generate traffic of more than 80,000 unique visitors per month. It posted revenue of Rs 6.23 crore for 2016-17.
HDFC Realty is the group’s offline brokerage business with a presence across residential and commercial properties as well as consulting and valuation services. It has a 300 member in-house sales team and 7,000-strong brokers across the country. It posted revenue of Rs 35.25 crore for 2016-17.
“We see great synergies between Quikr and HDFC as we start working together to bring a seamless online-to-offline platform to developers and consumers,” said Pranay Chulet, founder and chief executive officer of Quikr.
Quikr, which has so far raised $350 million and is among India’s leading internet companies with a valuation of around $1 billion, has adopted an aggressive strategy of buying small digital startups to expand into verticals such as real estate, jobs, automobile and services.
In June, Quikr had acquired blue-collar jobs listing company Babajob Services Pvt. Ltd in a mostly-stock deal. Babajob was its 11th acquisition in all and second in the hiring segment. It had earlier acquired Hiree in a similar deal.
Quikr, founded by Pranay Chulet and Jiby Thomas in 2008, had previously bought CommonFloor and Grabhouse in the real estate segment, and a bunch of small startups in the services space.
Data from VCCEdge, the research arm of News Corp VCCircle, showed the company struck as many as seven deals in 2016 and two in 2015.
For the financial year ended March 2016, Quikr’s losses widened to Rs 534 crore from Rs 446 crore the year before. Total expenses grew 26% to Rs 628.63 crore, after more than doubling in each of the previous three years. Operational revenue for 2015-16 rose 66% to Rs 41.24 crore while total revenue rose 44% to Rs 94.5 crore, driven by an almost two-fold rise in other income.
Quikr competes with Naspers-backed OLX in the online classifieds segment. In the online real estate brokerage and property listing segments, it would compete with market leaders 99acres.com and Magicbricks.com, besides News Corp-backed PropTiger. Earlier this year, PropTiger and rival Housing.com decided to merge. News Corp is also the parent of this news website.
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